Artificial turf has successfully made the leap from commercial and sports venue settings to homes across America over the past ten years, thanks to the introduction of extremely life-like, easy-to-maintain synthetic turf materials.
Artificial sod has also increased in popularity because of the water restrictions set forth by many towns and cities across America, as well as environmental concerns.
Synthetic turf’s many benefits include:
- Beautiful, lush green color that is fade-resistant and evergreen.
- Ideal for any location or climate, as it requires no water or maintenance.
- Eliminates the need for costly lawn maintenance, repair, fertilizers and chemicals.
- Takes the hassle out of lawn maintenance, thereby making it a good choice for those with busy lifestyles, older individuals or those who simply dislike the chore of lawn maintenance.
- May be padded for extra comfort and safety, thereby making it ideal for backyards and play areas.
- Ideal for neighborhoods with water restrictions, and also good for your wallet (i.e., no soaring water bills in the summer).
- Requires just an air blower or leaf blower for weekly maintenance.
- Eliminates bug and insect infestation.
- Great choice for the environment – no fertilizer, no sprinkler system and no lawn mowing.
- Ideal for heavy traffic areas, as it eliminates muddy, sloppy messes on shoes and paws.
- Offers a very lifelike alternative to natural grass.
- Ideal for pets – can be easily cleaned by simply squirting the area off (or picking up solid waste, if necessary) after the animal has urinated.
- Available in a variety of looks, from lush, longer grass to freshly trimmed grass.
- Great for areas where natural grass is difficult to maintain, such as rooftop gardens, verandas and around swimming pools.
As with any landscaping option, there are disadvantages to artificial turf, which include:
- Some of the maintenance needed includes wetting, vacuuming, blowing and sanitizing.
- May need to be wetted down to reduce temperatures, as it can become extremely hot in the warm, summer months.
- May require treatments with fabric softeners and solvents to reduce static cling, maintain its appearance and keep it clean.
- May require routine sanitation to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria.
- May stick out “like a sore thumb,” especially in the winter when other lawns have turned brown.
- May cost as much as $10 square foot, which is about 10 times more expensive than natural turf.
- Some neighborhood associations have banned it because it does not fit in with other lawns in the same neighborhood, thereby creating an eyesore of sorts.
If you decide that synthetic turf is right for you, it is best to contact a qualified, synthetic turf company who can provide you with many different options and ideas, as well as installation costs and overall prices.
Some people have also opted to install synthetic grass themselves. If you go this route, research the different types of artificial turf and contact your municipality, city or neighborhood association to first determine if there are any ordinances against artificial turf.